Ronald Koeman was self-critical after the Netherlands 3-2 loss against Italy in the Nations League 3rd place playoff.

Speaking to NOS after the defeat, Koeman was sorry for the first half display and blamed a lack of willingness, “Despite the defeat against Croatia, there were many leads, but then you play such a first half. It was lame. I blame myself because that’s the worst thing I think a team can lack.”

“We let each other down and we were unable to get angry and correct each other in the first half. That is not possible. If you see the first and the second goal against, it has nothing to do with tactics, but with willingness.” 

Koeman was furious at his players for not getting back from the attack quick enough. “Not downshifting from front to back, that’s something I hate.”

Koeman did not name any individuals for criticism, but did say, “There is also a right winger (Donyell Malen), who is responsible for the left back. This happened in several situations. You cannot leave this to your defenders. With the second goal, Dimarco is completely free again. We do not switch back, only Wieffer did that well here. This is the basis of a team. This is not about technical qualities, but about willingness.

“I really felt like we had made a step. But you should be ashamed of the way we played in the first half. Of course you don’t have to go all the way back as right winger every time, but you are obliged to do so when Dumfries is covering on the inside. Then you are responsible. We didn’t take that responsibility in the first half.”

Koeman was a bit happier with the second half after making changes, “Then we played one against one and then everyone knows who his man is. Then we did show the willingness, while it was actually much more difficult due to the fatigue. But even that I’m not happy about because the first half was just dramatic. This is a big step backwards and I’m going to think about it quietly.”

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